BRADSHAW wrapped up the Bolton League summer by beating Atherton to claim the Peter Stafford Trophy on Saturday, with vice captain Jordan Mason hailing a triumph for team spirit.

The Rigby’s side joined Walkden (Premiership), Little Lever (Association), Kearsley (Hamer Cup) and Horwich (T20) as title winners in 2018, beating Atherton by 71 runs on their home patch.

The final was played out on a sticky pitch which took turn, suiting a Bradshaw attack including Mason’s leg-spin and sub pro Callum Parkinson’s left-armers.

It has not been an easy season for Bradshaw, both on and off the field.

On it, they fell significantly short of first-year captain Brett Ernst’s target of winning the league, finishing sixth.

Off it, the club have received recent criticism for resigning from the Bolton League ahead of an impending move to the GMCL.

Mason, however, has been impressed with the way his team-mates have been able to put it all to one side and finish the season strongly.

On Saturday, having been inserted, they posted 152-8 from their 45 overs, with Parkinson top-scoring with 27 from number three.

Opener Tom Liversedge hit 26, while Nick Palmer, Jordan Evans and man-of-the-match Jack Shovelton (14 not out) all contributed teens.

In defence, Atherton crumbled to 81 all out, a disappointing way to end their own memorable Stafford Trophy campaign, with Shovelton returning a superb 2-4 from six overs.

Retiring Stuart Hornby (3-18 from nine) impressed with the new ball, while Parkinson and Ian Ross struck once added to Mason’s 2-16 from 8.2 overs, including the winning wicket of Josh Gilluley lbw.

“It’s a great way to end what’s been, at times, a difficult season for the lads,” said Mason.

“Brett’s come in as captain, and it has been difficult for him. Certain things haven’t gone our way, but everyone’s stayed behind him.

“We sat down midway through the season as a group and said ‘We have to put what’s happened behind us and make sure we end well’. That’s exactly what we’ve done.

“Saturday showed exactly what we’ve been about over the last few weeks.

“In terms of the off-field stuff, before all the decisions were made, we said as players we just had to get on with playing our cricket.

“We’re all on board with what the club’s done.”

Mason, who also took two catches at point and helped Hornby affect a run out, continued: “It was a tough wicket to bat on, and you had to stick in and work hard for runs.

“Lads down the order, Jack Shovelton, Nick Palmer and Jordy Evans, ended up getting us up to 150. From there, we were quietly confident, especially with our bowling attack.

“The wicket turned a bit, which worked out well given we had Cal as sub pro, who bowled really well, and myself.

“To get the winning wicket was a perfect way to end.”

Mason also reserved praise for two individuals, Hornby and Shovelton, the latter playing against a former club.

He added: “Stu’s planning on that being his last game, and opening the bowling he was unbelievable.

“Jack’s come in this season, and though he hasn’t perhaps bowled as many overs as he’d have wanted, he was brilliant with ball and bat on Saturday.”